Feb 25th, 2018(Nyamilepedia) —– An elderly South Sudanese -Australian woman has been hospitalized in Melbourne, Australia, after watching an interview on BBC HARDtalk that featured a former political detainee and a former rebel, Hon. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, the current Minister of South Sudan Petroleum.
The elderly Nuer woman, who serves as a deacon in one of the South Sudanese churches in Melbourne, fainted on Thursday watching Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth denying the suffering of her people in Upper Nile and over six millions other South Sudanese who are suffering in refugee camps and UNMISS’ IDPs centers.
To surprise of many South Sudanese, donors and sympathizers, Mr. Lol claims that South Sudan’s “economy is booming” and over 90% of the most affected Upper Nile region lives in peace.
“people are actually coming back to their houses, in greater upper state or former upper nile region is actually 90% peaceful” Lol Gatkuoth said.
Critics believe that Gatkuoth was imagining what could happen if permanent peace returns to the country but not the reality on the ground.
He went on to claim that the six millions people that are either displaced to IDPs camps or refugees settlements in the neighboring countries left their homes voluntarily because of social media which warn them that the government forces will kill them.
The senior who spoke from her hospital bed said she “collapsed in front of her TV and ended up in Australian Hospital after hearing Ezikeil Lol Gatkuoth, Minster of Petroleum telling untrue accounts and praising President Salva who killed her children and relatives in December 2013 massacre in Juba, South Sudan”.
The very old woman explains that she was among the Deacons who devoted their entire times for months praying and calling for the release of Ezekiel Lol and other G10 members when they were accused of treason and sent to the prison by the same Salva Kiir whom he praised as the only solution to bring peace to South Sudan.
Eye witnesses report that in 2014, the grandmother was always among young men and women during rallies and demonstrations calling for the release of Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth till he was freed by Salva Kiir in April 2014.
“Again, the very old woman was among Nuer women who went to the Melbourne Airport to receive Ezikeil Lol with songs, showering him with flowers and blessings.” Said another witness.
“The same very woman was amongst strong men who carried Ezekiel Lol on their shoulders celebrating victory in the Hall, in Melbourne, Australia.” He continued.
According to eye witnesses “the very selfless grandmother never missed all meetings and parties conducted for Ezekiel Lol in Australia.”
“Unfortunately, today the very person (Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth) who influenced such poor grandmother paid back by sending her to the Hospital bed between death and life. I hope she won’t die to see the end of this odd politics in South Sudan.” Said another eye witness.
To get sympathy of his Nuer Community after his release in April 2014, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth testified that he was fed with urine, tortured and abused in prison between December 2013 and April 2014 when he was accused by President Kiir among others for having committed a treason.
Ezekiel Lol and ten others politicians were to be prison to life imprisonment or death by hanging, however, their release was made the main precondition by Dr. Riek Machar to start peace negotiation in Addis Ababa.
All the ten politicians were released by April 2014, however, only Ezekiel Lol joined the SPLM/A(IO) and reunited with majority of his Nuer people who are loyal to Dr. Riek Machar until July 2016 when Lol Gatkuoth and Taban Deng Gai defected to Salva Kiir.
To disappointment of many, Lol Gatkuoth, now believes that removing President Salva Kiir from power whether through ballots or bullets is a none-starter.
His recent interview on BBC reveals an intensive campaign that Salva Kiir must remain in power for South Sudan to have peace.
“It is only Salva Kiir who can actually bring peace to this country, it is actually Salva Kiir who can unite this country” Said Lol Gatkuoth on BBC.
President Kiir, however, is “unfit” to unite the country. Majority of his former allies and colleagues during the liberation struggle including Dr. John Garang’s family, the country’s first vice president, Dr. Riek Machar, his first cabinet and his notorious Chief of Staff Gen. Paul Malong Awan and his two deputies have all been pushed out of the government.
Within less than 4 years nearly half of the country’s population is displaced to IDPs and refugees camp and the remaining population struggles to make ends meet.
According to the newest UN report, over 6 millions people are displaced and more than 40 senior politicians and generals may face war crimes and crimes against humanity.